The art of sniping is a grim but fascinating subject that captures the minds of shooters and military enthusiasts alike. The skill required of a sniper combines huge skills of accuracy, judging distance, weather conditions, and angles as well as the stalking, patience and camouflaging, skills of a hunter.
Our 10th September auction contains two sniper rifles both dated 1943, the midst of WWII when sniping was truly embraced and developed by all armies involved in the conflict.
The first is a Mosin Nagant M91/30 PU Sniper Rifle chambered in 7.62 x 54R, Russia’s ‘three-line’ cartridge (a term which originates from the Russian Cubit standard form or measurement) Both rifle and PU scope are marked with serial number TP252, a practice common to many sniper rifles to ensure that zero remains once a scope has been set up to a particular arm. The receiver is dated 1943 and stamped with Tula star and arrow mark.
Russia was to realise the full potential of the sniper, and the M91/30 PU’s superb accuracy and indestructibility was used to devesting effect on Axis troops. Russia was to field over 100,000 marksmen and women with PU equipped Mosin Nagants during WWII and it is for this reason that the M91/30 PU is one of the more reasonably priced sniper rifles to buy. The Mosin Nagant M91/30 PU Sniper Rifle is estimated to sell at £1,200 -1,600 in our 10th September Auction.
The second of our sniper rifles is a 1943 BSA Lee Enfield No.4 T. The British were slow to use snipers and during the early years of WWI the idea of sniping one's enemy was considered a truly ungentlemanly form or warfare. This opinion was to change rapidly when the effects of German snipers were observed and on the outbreak of WWII the need for snipers and scoped rifles were much better understood. Upon test-firing a Lee Enfield No.4 service rifle, those weapons that shot exceptionally accurate groups were set aside to be built into sniper rifles. The famous gunsmith's Holland and Holland were tasked with the set up of No.4 T rifles, the T stamped on the receiver to designate that the rifle was to be fitted with a telescope. The example in our sale demonstrates how hard these rifles were worked in their service life and bears an ‘FTR’ (Thorough Factory Refit) stamp on the wrist joint. This work included re-barrelling, the original probably being shot out, as well as the fitting of a completely new set of woodwork and a new bolt has been assigned to the gun. This makes for a highly accurate rifle (this example has been known to win competitions at Bisley) that a target shooter interested in historic rifles can use without fear of devaluing a nearly worn out but totally original example.
The 1943 BSA No.4 T is estimated to sell for £2,500 – 3,500 in our 10th September Sale.
We are now accepting entries for our 3rd December Arms and Militaria Sale. If you have any items you are considering selling we would be pleased to hear from you.
For more information please contact Chris Large on 01270 623878 firstname.lastname@example.org